The Holographic Universe


The Holographic UniverseNew York: Harper Perennial, 1992.

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot is an extraordinary book, and a captivating read from the first to the last page. Not only has this book merited more than five stars, it merits both a literary prize and a distinction for exemplary scientific research. As the author has already passed over into greater life dimensions, these are posthumous laurels. But my recognition of the author’s genius, his motivation, his purity, and his literary and spiritual maturity is real.

The book has been a true companion for me, and it accompanied me on all trips over weeks. To begin with, the author has not just delivered an extensive study on the vast realm of psychic phenomena, he also has consulted personally a number of researchers he refers in his book. As Talbot revealed in a few notes, he had himself strong psychic abilities and was psychic already as a child. This may explain in part his participatory experience as a scientist and his fundamental understanding of the topics at stake.

Talbot makes a strong point for the holographic nature of the universe and of psychic experiences in general, and I can virtually not see how his theory can be refuted, so well-founded it appears. An important point of departure, just as in Lynne McTaggart’s startling book The Field, is the acknowledgment of a plenum where mechanistic science claims to find a vacuum:

Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves./51

While I recommend this book without hesitation for the general reader, it should be an advantage to have read previously some kind of fundamental introduction in the new paradigms in science, such as, for example, Fritjof Capra’s The Turning Point. Talbot writes:

In his general theory of relativity Einstein astounded the world when he said that space and time are not separate entities, but are smoothly linked and part of a larger whole he called the space-time continuum. Bohm takes this idea a giant step further. He says that everything in the universe is part of a continuum. Despite the apparent separateness of things at the explicate level, everything is a seamless extension of everything else, and ultimately even the implicate and explicate orders blend into each other./48

What I normally not do, I shall do it here: reproduce the Table of Contents including the sub-chapters. This will by itself give an overview over the vast array of topics and research that the author has summarized in this extraordinary book, the Notes section of which expands over twenty-four pages! Below I will do a pointed discussion based on some quotes from the book.


1 The Brain as Hologram

The Breakthrough
Other Puzzles Explained by the Holographic Brain Model
Experimental Support for the Holographic Brain
The Mathematical Language of the Hologram
The Dancer as Wave Form
The Reaction of the Scientific Community
Pribram Encounters Bohm

2 The Cosmos as Hologram

Bohm and Interconnectedness
A Living Sea of Electrons
Bohm’s Disillusionment
A New Kind of Field and the Bullet That Killed Lincoln
If You Want to Know Where You Are, Ask the Nonlocals
Enter the Hologram
Enfolded Orders and Unfolded Realities
The Undivided Wholeness of All Things
Consciousness as a More Subtle Form of Matter
The Energy of a Trillion Atomic Bombs in Every Cubic Centimeter of Space
Experimental Support for Bohm’s Holographic Universe
The Reaction of the Physics Community
Pribram and Bohm Together


3 The Holographic Model and Psychology

Dreams and the Holographic Universe
Psychosis and the Implicate Order
Lucid Dreams and Parallel Universes
Hitching a Ride on the Infinite Subway
Holotropic Therapy
Vortices of Thought and Multiple Personalities
A Flaw in the Fabric of Reality

4 I Sing the Body Holographic

Basketball Games of the Mind
The Lack of Division between Health and Illness
The Healing Power of Nothing At All
Tumors That Melt Like Snowballs on a Hot Stove
Do Any Drugs Really Work?
The Health Implications of Multiple Personality
Pregnancy, Organ Transplants, and Tapping the Genetic Level
Images Projected Outside the Brain
Laws Both Known and Unknown
Acupuncture Microsystems and the Little Man in the Ear
Harnessing the Powers of the Holographic Brain

5 A Pocketful of Miracles

The Gremlin in the Machine
Psychokinesis on a Grander Scale
Mass Psychokinesis in Eighteens-Century France
Reprogramming the Cosmic Motion Picture Projector
The Laws of Physics as Habits and Realities Both Potential and Real
Does Consciousness Create Subatomic Particles?
You Can Get Something For Nothing
Changing the Whole Picture
What Does It All Mean?

6 Seeing Holographically

The Human Energy Field
The Energy Field of the Human Psyche
Doctors Who See the Human Energy Field
Chaos Holographic Patterns
What Is the Human Energy Field Made Of?
Three Dimensional Images in the Aura
Movies in the Aura
Holographic Body Assessment
X-Ray Vision
Internal Vision and Shamanism
The Energy Field as Cosmic Blueprint
A Participatory Reality
Mind and the Human Energy Field


7 Time Out of Mind

The Past as Hologram
Phantoms from the Past
The Holographic Future
We Are All Precognitive
Hololeaps of Faith
The Shadowy Stuff of the Soul
Thought as Builder
An Indication of Something Deeper
Three Last Pieces of Evidence

8 Traveling in the Superhologram

OBEs as a Holographic Phenomenon
The Near-Death Experience
A Holographic Explanation of the Near-Death Experience
Heaven as Hologram
Instantaneous Knowledge
Life Plans and Parallel Time Tracks
You Can Eat but You Don’t Have To
Information about the Near-Death Realm from Other Sources
The Land of Nowhere
Intelligent and Coordinated Images of Light
More References to Light
Survival in Infinity
An Undeniable Spiritual Radiance
Who Are the Beings of Light?
The Omnijective Universe

9 Return to the Dreamtime

The Candle and the Laser
The Future of the Holographic Idea
The Need for a Basic Restructuring of Science
An Evolutionary Thrust toward Higher Consciousness

After my first complete read of the book, I was reading selected chapters again. I recommend you to do the same.

I have collected many quotes of the book but will present only a few, and only on synthetic insights, where the author summarizes specific fields of research in order to make the point for a valid holographic paradigm to currently emerge in global science.

To begin with, when we try to point to the most important insight from quantum physics, we could describe it with the word participatory; this is not just Talbot’s personal view, but is shared by other scientists.

As we have seen, one of the basic tenets of quantum physics is that we are not discovering reality, but participating in its creation. It may be that as we probe deeper into the levels of reality beyond the atom, the levels where the subtle energies of the human aura appear to lie, the participatory nature of reality becomes even more pronounced. Thus we must be extremely cautious about saying that we have discovered a particular structure or pattern in the human energy field, when we may have actually created what we have found./191

The author lucidly adds the note here that with this change of the basic science paradigm from an observatory to a participatory experimental setup of the scientific task, the role of the scientist changes implicitly:

A shift from objectivity to participation will also most assuredly affect the role of the scientist. As it becomes increasingly apparent that it is the experience of observing that is important, and not just the act of observation, it is logical to assume that scientists in turn will see themselves less and less as observers and more and more as experiencers. As Harman states, ‘A willingness to be transformed is an essential characteristic of the participatory scientist.’/298

Another important part of Talbot’s research were Near Death Experiences (NDEs), Out-of-Body Experience (OBEs) and voyages into past lives through past-life regression therapy. The author summarizes the research results as follows:

Several said they didn’t even have a body unless they were thinking. (…) But as their experience in the between-life state continued, they gradually became a kind of hologramlike composite of all of their past lives. This composite identity even had a name separate from any of the names they had used in their physical incarnations, although none of his subjects was able to pronounce it using their physical vocal cords. (…) Many say that they were not aware of any form and were simply ‘themselves’ or ‘their mind’. Others have more specific impressions and describe themselves as ‘a cloud of colors’, ‘a mist’, ‘an energy pattern’ or ‘an energy field’, terms that / again suggest that we are all ultimately just frequency phenomena, patterns of some unknown vibratory energy enfolded in the greater matrix of the frequency domain./247-248

Some NDEers assert that in addition to being composed of colored frequencies of light, we are also constituted out of sound. ‘I realized that each person and thing has its own musical tone range as well as its own color range’, says an Arizona housewife who had an NDE during childbirth. ‘If you can imagine yourself effortlessly moving in and out among prismatic rays of light and hearing each person’s musical notes join and harmonize with your own when you touch or pass them, you would have some idea of the unseen world. The woman, who encountered many individuals in the afterlife realm who manifested only as clouds of colors and sound, believes the mellifluous tones each soul emanates are what people are describing when they say they hear beautiful music in the ND-dimension.’/248

Talbot not only researched science theories, but also looked at what spiritualistic authors wrote, as for example Emmanuel Swedenborg. And he discovers evidence for the holographic theory in Swedenborg’s writings:

Most intriguing of all are those remarks by Swedenborg that seem / to refer to reality’s holographic qualities. For instance, he said that although human beings appear to be separate from one another, we are all connected in a cosmic unity. Moreover, each of us is a heaven in miniature, and every person, indeed the entire physical universe, is a microcosm of a greater divine reality./258-259

Swedenborg also believed that, despite its ghostlike and ephemeral qualities, heaven is actually a more fundamental level of reality than our own physical world. It is, he said, the archetypal source from which all earthly forms originate, and to which all forms return, a concept not too dissimilar from Bohm’s idea of the implicate and explicate orders. /259

Another important area of research into holographic phenomena in Talbot’s book are visions of the Holy Virgin, and angels. Talbot writes:

Another impressively holographic Marian vision is the equally famous appearance of the Virgin in Zeitoun, Egypt. The sightings began in 1968 when two Moslem automobile mechanics saw a luminous apparition of Mary standing on the ledge of the central dome of a Coptic church in the poor Cairo suburb. (…) Most telling of all, after three years of manifestations and as interest in the phenomenon started to wane, the Zeitoun figures also waned, becoming hazier and hazier until, in their last several appearances, they were little more than clouds of luminous fog./275

Other areas of research that I mention here eclectically, as it’s virtually impossible to comment on all research topics, are the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the spiritual teachings of native peoples. The author writes:

One thing that we do know is that in a holographic universe, a universe in which separateness ceases to exist and the innermost processes of the psyche can spill over and become as much a part of the objective landscape as the flowers and the trees, reality itself becomes little more than a mass shared dream. In the higher dimensions of existence, these dreamlike aspects become even more apparent, and indeed numerous traditions have commented on this fact. The Tibetan Book of the Dead repeatedly stresses the dreamlike nature of the afterlife realm, and this is also, of course, why the Australian aborigines refer to it as the dreamtime. Once we accept the notion, that reality at all levels is omnijective and has the same ontological status as a dream, the question becomes, Whose dream is it?/285

Like Bohm, who says that consciousness always has its source in the implicate, the aborigines believe that the true source of the mind is in the transcendent reality of the dreamtime. Normal people do not realize this and believe that their consciousness is in their bodies. However, shamans know this is not true, and that is why they are able to make contact with the subtler levels of reality./289

Eventually, the author finds examples from the past where scientists were already looking beyond the fence and perceiving the universe as basically interconnected and nonlocal, as we would say today. And he mentions the German mathematician Leibniz who notoriously discovered the binary code in the I Ching.

In short, long before the invention of the hologram, numerous thinkers had already glimpsed the nonlocal organization of the universe and had arrived at their own unique ways to express this insight. It is worth noting that these attempts, crude as they may seem to those of us who are more technologically sophisticated, may have been far more important than we realize. For instance, it appears that the seventeenth-century German mathematician and philosopher Leibniz was familiar with the Hua-yen school of Buddhist thought. Some have argued that this was why he proposed that the universe is constituted out of fundamental entities he called ‘monads’, each of which contains a reflection of the whole universe. What is significant is that Leibniz also gave the world integral calculus, and it was integral calculus that enabled Dennis Gabor to invest the hologram./291

I highly recommend this book, also to the non-initiated and non-scientific reader. The author somehow manages to express himself with common sense and insight, without using complex scientific language. This book can also be taken as a useful research library as from the notes section you can stretch out your research further.

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3 thoughts on “The Holographic Universe”

  1. helped to open my holographic mind. If any would care,Baha’u’llah,founder of Baha’i Faith spoke of religion and science as one in 1860’s,of reality as a mirage, a mere semblance of reality


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